Surface Structure of Polymers: Glancing-Angle Electron Diffraction Study of Polyethylene

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Science  27 Dec 1968:
Vol. 162, Issue 3861, pp. 1483-1484
DOI: 10.1126/science.162.3861.1483


The surface regions of polyethylene nucleated and crystallized in contact with both a high-energy surface (gold) and a low-energy surface (fluorinated ethylene-propylene copolymer Teflon) have been examined by means of glancing-angle electron-diffraction techniques. Examination of these surfaces has been confined to a maximum depth of 120 angstroms. The surface region of the polyethylene generated in contact with the gold is considerably more crystalline than the surface generated in contact with the fluorinated ethylene-propylene copolymer Teflon. These results tend to corroborate recent wettability and infrared studies. Apparently, the surface structure of polyethylene is highly dependent upon the method of preparation.

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